Mahsa Mahdavi

Mahsa Mahdavi

My name is Mahsa, I'm a travel enthusiast and also content manager of Seven Seas Travelers

Turkmen Sahra(IRAN)

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Where is Turkmen Sahra?

Turkmen Sahara is located in the northeastern part of Golestan province. It has a population of 200,000 people speaking in Turkmen and Persian. Turkmens originally were nomads which gradually settled in cities. Turkmen ethnicities are originally from Oghuz Turks. Turkmen means “Turkish” or “like the Turks” in their language. “Gonbad-e Kavus” is the biggest city of Turkmen Sahara 

Music and Dance

Turkmen music is a combination of Turkmenistan and Afghanistan music and is very lovely. Turkmen Dotar has an amazing sound and are often be played with straw and fiddle. Turkmeni songs generally describes the sufferings and also express their epic stories which are rooted in Turkmen stories. According to the people of Turkmen Sahra, a Turkmen born with music and will live with it until his last breath. 

In Turkmen Sahara, the ritual Dagger dance is very common. Men ring in circles and with special sounds that produce from their throats mesmerize you by for hours. The origins of this dance goes back to almost 1700 years ago which most of Turkmens was living in central Asia. Anthropologists believes that this dance was used to be a preparation ritual for hunt and battles. Turkmens and many other ethnicities in this region converted to Islam in almost 1400 years ago and in order not to give up in their traditions, they changed their rituals to be more flexible with Islam.

Dagger Dance, Turkmen Sahra, Iran

Clothing

Turkmen women wear silk shirts, which are more of a happy color, colors like red or red-hot, these types of dress coloring are so called hence “kirmiz Kunik”. There are needle works in the collar and sleeve of their dress. They add a kind of a trunk so called “Chabit” to complete their dress.

Women’s trousers are also stuffed at the bottom of the legs. The Turkmen girls are covering their head with a kind of skull-cap called “Burik” when a girl is married, instead of a Burik they are supposed to wear a special type of fillet which in different tribes has a different name, “Tupbi”, “Hasava” and “Alin Dangi” are some of them. Turkmen women hangs a lot of special jewelry to themselves which is called “Yaragh” it is include a heavy belt of silver ribbons and leg jewelry. Turkmen woman hangs big jewels, bangles and necklaces of gold and silver as an additional jewelry to their dress. Another jewelry which is called “Gumush”, is a chest jewelry and is used to prevent evil eye (type of superstitious). The “Toomar” is also a chest jewelry and used to hold prayers.” Asigh” is also some kind of jewelry are tied to their hair. Silkworm farming is very common in Golestan province and silkworm farming is woman responsibility in their culture and Turkmen men and women custom is commonly made from silk. Turkmen woman produce silk fabrics in a simple machine called “Tara” and stained with natural colors made out of peanuts or pomegranate seeds and other plants.The original Turkmen men’s clothing is a long robe of silk, which comes up to the knee and is called “Don”. “Chuckman” is taller than the usual coat made from camel wool. “Ichmek” or “Poustin” is another cloth that is used in cold weather which is made from sheepskin. For each “Poustin” or “Ichmek”, five to eight sheep skins are required. 

The “conic” is also a simple shirt with long sleeve and no collar with no buttons but ropes instead. The men’s trousers consist of a broad skirt that is made up of cotton fibers. These pants are called “Balagh”. Turkmen men have two types of hat; one is a “Talpak” which is a hat with a relatively long wool and “Burik” which is some type of skull-cap that is often made up of various designs, usually needle worked.

 

Turkmen Traditional Dress
Turkmen Traditional Dress

Handicrafts

The beautiful black-eye women and girls have been drawn pretty designs on the traditional rugs and carpets from thousands years. Turkmen beautiful designs and unique styles have their roots on their ancestor’s legacy, epic stories and even their own daily life. So their rugs are pretty much like an illustrated book of life. Turkmen special products include felt weaving, silk weaving, Turkmen kilim(Rug) knitting and embroidery.

Turkmen Carpet
Turkman Handicrafts

Turkmen Horse Breed

Turkmen horses have pure races with thin and dragged bodies in gray and brown colors. Exports of these unique horses were used to be banned until 2013 due to Iran’s regulations to keep the breed only and only inside of Iran. The famous breeds of these horses include: The Chenaran (the combination of the Arabian horse and the Turkmen horse), the Iomoot and the Akhal horses that are truly unmatched to any other breed all over the world. Horse racing runs in all seasons in Gonbad-e Kavus and lasts for weeks. Horse racing is one of the most spectacular attractions of the area, and has got roots back to the Turkmen history.

Betting is completely banned in Islam but there are some exceptions like betting on shooting and horse racing. Gonbad-e Kavus has the biggest horse racing events all over the country and if you are lucky enough to be in Gonbad-e Kavus in Thursdays and Fridays you will have a chance to see the race and maybe have some fun by betting on horses.  

Bird Watching and Landscapes

Bandar-e Turkmen 

This port was founded by the Pahlavi in ​​1927 for military purposes. It is interesting to know that this port is the first city in the country, built by Iranian and Belgian engineers and architects based on web shape urban design.
This port was originally named “Port of the Shah” (The Kings Port). Bandar-e Turkman is the capital of the caviar of the world, and along with the cotton farming around the city, it is considered the main pillar of the local economy. The inhabitants of this port are mostly Turkmen but their culture is mixed Mazandaran Province and even Russian and Kazakh

Ashuradeh 
In the west of the Bandar-e Turkman, the largest Iranian island in the Caspian Sea, is located on the peninsula of Miankaleh. In the past, Ashuradeh was formed of three interconnected islands, two small islands which is currently submerged for centuries and the one bigger island which, is Ashuradeh. But Ashuradeh has remained abandoned for the same reason for many years. This Island is 10 minutes away from Bandar-e Turkmen by boat, when you reach Ahuradeh you will enjoy the unique beauty and tranquility of this Island. Until the early years of the century this island was one of the main habitat of Caspian Tiger

 Agh Ghala 
Agh Ghala, is a town 36 kilometers north-east of the Bandar-e Turkman. The city is very famous for its adobe Sassanid basin bridge built on the Gorgan River during Safavid times. This bridge had two minarets, which is now gone. Ancient castle is one of the other historic sites of the city that is now ruined and there are only two walls left. This city is also very famous for its horse farms which they breed Turkaman horse or Turkemene

Bandar Gaz
Located 12 km from the Bandar-e Turkaman. This port is the eastern Iranian port of the Caspian Sea and one of the country’s cotton farming centers. The other name of this port is Gazer port

Ashuradeh, Turkmen Sahra
Ashuradeh, Turkmen Sahra

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